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Saudi king appoints new foreign minister in major cabinet reshuffle

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman has appointed former finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf as foreign minister in a major cabinet reshuffle that included changes to key national security posts, state media reported on Thursday. The reshuffle came with the Saudi government trying to deal with intense international pressure over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Last week the kingdom announced the creation of three government bodies aimed at improving its intelligence…

Saudi king briefs Putin on investigation into Khashoggi death

CAIRO/MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin by telephone on Thursday to brief him on the investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the official Saudi press agency. The king assured Putin that the Saudi government was determined to hold the guilty parties accountable and to make sure “they receive their punishment”. The death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has…

Saudi king, crown prince meet Khashoggi family

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with family members of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh on Tuesday, state media said. The Saudi rulers met with Khashoggi's son Salah and brother Sahel at the royal palace, state-run news agency SPA reported. The report said King Salman and Prince Mohammed offered their condolences to the family of the Saudi journalist. Khashoggi -- a Washington Post contributor and critic of the crown prince -- was killed after entering the Saudi…

Trump says he spoke with Saudi king, sending Pompeo for meeting

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday said he has spoken with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that he was sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with the king immediately. Trump also said Salman denied “any knowledge of whatever may have happened” to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, and told him the Saudis are working closely with Turkey on the case. Saudi Arabia warned Sunday it would retaliate…

US pilot killed in Saudi helicopter crash

RIYADH: A US pilot working with Saudi Arabia's national guard was killed and his student injured when their helicopter crashed in Riyadh Thursday, the Saudi national guard said. The Saudi national guard named the pilot as Paul Reedy and said he had been flying a Boeing AH-6i, a light attack and reconnaissance helicopter. The statement did not specify whether Reedy was a military pilot. Saudi Arabia and the United States, longtime military allies, have boosted ties since the election of US President Donald Trump in…